A while ago, I was in Bourj Hammoud – my favorite place to shoot in Lebanon.
There are two main streets there – Arax (known for clothes, shoes…) and Marash (known for spices, vegetables, fruits…) – where you’ll always find the owners sitting in front of their shops. Two of them, whose portraits I took, attracted my attention for some unknown reason:
Setrak – Photograph by Emilie Houwat
Armen – Photograph by Emilie Houwat
I have always been interested in talking to people but never knew how to approach them until this thought came to my mind: printing portraits and giving them out.
Last Tuesday, the 6th of November 2012, I finally decided to print the portraits of those two men after having postponed it for months.
While walking in the famous Marash street, the first person I approached and greeted was Setrak. I gave him an envelope which he didn’t want to open, so I did it for him. He smiled and said that he looked old in the picture. I added that he looked great and that’s why I had printed it.
Setrak with Emilie and Thomas – Photograph by Nareg D.B.
A couple of meters later was Armen. It was hard to communicate with him in Arabic, but he was full of emotion and his eyes were glowing.
Armen with Emilie – Photograph by Nareg D.B.
It’s hard to explain how I felt that day, but what I learned from this experience is that the simplest things can have the strongest impact – and in this case, on both the person and myself!
I’m looking forward to experiencing this again (very soon actually) after having promised someone his portrait a couple of days ago..